Having left the K-pop group iKON in mid-2019 due to his experimenting with controlled substances, and subsequent arrest and conviction, it’s not an understatement to say B.I’s career was left hanging by a thread. He retreated to reckon with himself, to work through his experience and reasons for them via his songwriting. In the summer of 2021, his period of reflection yielded the uncompromising and, at times, painfully self-flagellating debut album Waterfall.
Even if much of the gloss had been scrubbed away, the record reposited B.I in the industry for the canny, emotive writing he’d been known for and, more importantly, granted him the freedom to broaden his creative horizons. Earlier this year, he released BTBT, the first single from an ambitious, bilingual project entitled Love or Loved (L.O.L). Futuristic and dystopian in aesthetic but heartfelt and introspective in subject matter, it places B.I at the next frontier in a career that’s never been, and possibly never will be, entirely predictable.